The City of North Battleford has found a temporary solution to its water woes caused by the Husky Energy oil spill into the North Saskatchewan River.
Officials say they have entered into an agreement with the Battlefords for the town to supply water to the city.
A six inch pipeline will be installed from Battleford to North Battleford’s distribution system, which is expected to provide approximately 20 per cent of the capacity at the shut down treatment plant.
“This is a very exciting development in our quest to find effective and safe ways to relieve our community from the water restrictions,” said North Battleford Mayor Ian Hamilton.
The city will pay the Battlefords for potable water based on consumed meterage.
North Battleford was forced to shut off one of its water treatment plants and impose water restrictions on July 22 when up to 250,000 litres of oil from a Husky pipeline leaked into the river on July 21.
Until the new line is operational, water restrictions remain in place with one modification. Starting Friday, laundromats will be allowed to reopen due to the necessity of the service.
Officials are also considering other measures to provide water to the city as they say the temporary measure will not provide a solution for the winter months.
One option is to drill additional wells for the water treatment plant. Another option is to add more filtration systems to filter hydrocarbons and other possible contaminants.
Here is a list of events and details stemming from the leak:
July 20 – Anomalies detected in pipeline near Maidstone around 8 p.m., according to a post on Husky Energy website on July 26. It says crews are sent out but no leak found.
July 21 – The same update says company shut down pipeline as a precaution at 6 a.m. A sheen is spotted on the river and emergency response kicks into gear. Saskatchewan government gets word of the spill about 10:30 a.m.
July 22 – North Battleford shuts off its water supply intake from river as the slick hits the city.
July 25 – City of Prince Albert shuts off its water supply intake from river.
July 26 – Saskatchewan Water Security Agency says federal officials confirm there is oil under the water and along the shoreline. Booms redeployed to limit spread of oil. City of Melfort switches to an old reservoir and issues boil-water advisory.
July 27 – Agency warns public not to eat fish from river and to limit swimming, water-skiing and eating fish. There is a caution about allowing pets or livestock near the water. Province says the section of pipe that has been shut down is 10.6 kilometres long.
July 28 – Husky revises details around discovery of spill. Says breach was discovered around 10 a.m. on July 21. Provincial government says oil slick has travelled about 500 kilometres, but is dissipating as it moves downstream. Cleanup and shore monitoring focuses mainly on an area within 20 kilometres of the spill site. Boil-water advisory lifted in Melfort as water from backup reservoir found to be OK.
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